00064a_austria_Large-Danube-boat-on-g.jpg

Passau to Vienna Cycling

from $2,549.00

A very gentle linear route following the course of the River Danube – arguably the most beautiful river in Europe. Highlights include Passau ‘City of Three Rivers’, medieval Linz, the UNESCO Wachu Valley and Benedictine Melk!

  • Reviews 62 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Self-guided
  • Activity Level Easy
    3/8
All about the Passau to Vienna Cycling.

The route from Passau, on Germany’s eastern border, to Vienna is one of the most popular cycle paths in Europe, and it’s no wonder! This stretch of the Danube carves its way through a thousand years of history; 60 dramatic castles and palaces lie along the river and the ever-changing landscape is a kaleidoscope of fertile plains, narrow gorges, lowland forests, bird-rich marshland and acres of picturesque vines.
Much of the cycling is on the old river towpath which is now lovely, flat and surfaced; previously up to 60 horses strained to drag heavy cargo boats upstream against the powerful current! Today, dozens of farms and cafes offer waterfront lunch stops as you cycle between sun-baked villages and wayside stalls piled high with apples, peaches and plums. Most cycling days are completely flexible, as local boat and train services are excellent, cheap and cater brilliantly to cyclists.
Highlights of the route include the bustling medieval centre of Linz, the immense 11th century Baroque abbey at Melk, and UNESCO-celebrated Krems. As the river meanders down to the Viennese woods you’ll be met by Vienna, the waltz capital of Europe, which rises like a vision from the plain.
Our hotels are all individually charming with those at Passau, Schlogen and Tulln on the riverbank, and range from a quirky 15th century convent in Linz, to magnificent 4 star luxury in Krems, with two pools and a world-class spa! We have included two nights in Linz, Melk and Krems to allow time to explore at leisure. It’s easy to add nights before or after the tour to enjoy time in Passau and Vienna, and you’re looked after throughout by our expert local agent Radreisefreunde.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • 10 Nights Accommodations, hotel-to-hotel in a mix of *** and ****
  • All breakfasts
  • High quality bike
  • Route directions and maps
  • Luggage transfers
What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)
  • Transfers from Passau train station are not included (pay locally, allow approx 8 euro), return to Vienna airport not included (pay locally, pre-booked transfer available for a supplement)
  • Room upgrades and extra nights at selected hotels (inquire for prices and details)
  • Dinners (available at a pre-bookable supplement)
  • E-Bike (available on request, inquire for supplement)
  • Tandems available (inquire for supplement)

Highlights

  • Gentle cycling on dedicated cycle paths alongside the Danube, one of the most beautiful rivers in Europe
  • Hilltop castles, Baroque palaces, historic abbeys, ornate monasteries
  • Sunflower fields, vineyards, peach and apricot orchards
  • Lots of culture: art galleries, Roman remains, 23,000-year-old sculptures
  • Eclectic mix of hotels from C15 convents to riverfront mansions
  1. Day 1 Day 1: Arrive in Passau

    Arrive at your riverfront hotel and then enjoy dinner in the heart of the old town tonight.

  2. Day 2 Day 2: Passau to Schlogen 23km/14.5mi or 47km/29.5mi

    After receiving your bike and welcome brief, pedal east to Obernzell, famous for pottery, before popping into the Keramicmuseum in a riverside castle. The scent of wood smoke and grilled trout may tempt you into lunch as you cross into Austria where the valley is steeper and cloaked with oak woods. On reaching the hotel, relax in the pool before dinner on the terrace watching passenger boats sparkling with fairy lights cruise past.

  3. Day 3 Day 3: Schlogen to Aschach (Linz) 27km/17mi or 46km/29mi

    Spot kingfishers today in the Donauschlinge Nature Reserve. Stop and enjoy the views at the picnic tables that dot the waterfront before you reach Aschach’s frescoed waterfront. Catch the Linz ferry, or follow the towpath through reed marshes to Ottensheim beach for a swim. Hop on the train here and in no time you’ll arrive at your hotel, an ancient convent, in Linz’s extravagant town square.

  4. Day 4 Day 4: Linz to Ardagger 60km/37mi

    The route leads you away from the Danube to 12th Century Enns. Austria’s oldest city, before returning to the Danube and your overnight stop in the beautiful little village of Ardagger.

  5. Day 5 Day 5: Ardagger to Melk 29km/18.5mi or 48km/30mi

    Explore the small baroque town of Grein before cycling through the fertile Danube Valley for a lunch stop in Ybbs, home to a quirky collection of penny-farthings bicycles. The hilltop twin towers of Maria Taferl appear and Melk’s monastery looms high above as you pedal towards Margaret Ebner’s welcoming family hotel in Melk.

  6. Day 6 Day 6: At Melk

    Melk’s massive Benedictine monastery was rebuilt in 1683, and the interior abbey is as breathtaking as the countryside views from the rooftop terrace. For a day trip, cycle to Schloss Schallaburg (8km return), one of the finest Renaissance castles north of the Alps, where you can stroll in the magnificent rose gardens and enjoy acclaimed cultural exhibitions.

  7. Day 7 Day 7: Melk to Krems 39km/24.5mi

    Today you coast along the UNESCO Wachau Valley, a necklace of villages and vineyards, anchored by pretty churches along the north bank. Each is charming, especially Durnstein where Richard the Lionheart was held for ransom in the craggy hilltop castle. Admire the statuette, Venus of Willendorf, dating back to 23,000BC, before arriving in Krems for a splash in the pool, and candlelit dinner on the terrace overlooking the valley.

  8. Day 8 Day 8: At Krems

    Krems has one of the most beautiful historic centres in Europe and is packed with interest, from the Wine Museum housed in a restored Dominican monastery to the 13th century abbey that exhibits paintings of Martin Johann Schmidt. You can cycle out to Schloss Grafenegg (14km away), a gargoyle-encrusted Gothic castle set in 85 acres of parkland, perfect for picnics, or just relax in the fabulous hotel spa and pool.

  9. Day 9 Day 9: Krems to Tulln 41km/26mi

    Freewheel down river to Tulln, known as the ’Town of Roses’. Pop into the Roman museum, which is packed with artefacts, and dine out tonight amid the fountains, statues and ornate buildings that crowd the pretty centre before returning to your waterfront hotel.

  10. Day 10 Day 10: Tulln to Vienna 22km/13.5mi or 41km/26mi

    Coast along the last stretch and relax over lunch in imperial Klosterneuburg. Then cycle along Danube Island before continuing to your hotel, right in the heart of the city. Enjoy dinner out in Vienna’s lively centre which is breathtakingly floodlit at night!

  11. Day 11 Day 11: Leave Vienna

    Please note that cycling helmets are compulsory in Austria for all customers under 12 yrs. As we are unable to provide these, we strongly recommend that you bring your own. Please see our Planning you holiday page for full details.

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Where you stay
Hotel Residenz
The Hotel Residenz is on the waterfront in Passau facing the Danube River. The Hotel is a renovated merchant’s house and is over 400 years old, although today you would never guess as it has been decorated in an attractive contemporary style, while keeping some original features like the barrel vaulted ceilings and tile floors. There is a guest lounge and library for relaxing in as well as an outdoor breakfast terrace, from where you can watch the Danube passenger boats come and go by the dock below you. The bedrooms are contemporary with light wooden furnishings and modern bathrooms. There is a computer in the lobby where you are able to use the Internet.
Hotel Donauschlinge
The Hotel Donauschlinge and the Gugler Family have cornered the market on this stretch of the River Danube and have become a favourite pit stop on the way between Passau and Vienna for almost every cyclist making the trip. The Schlogen meander bend is a famous landmark on the river and this attractive waterfront hotel is perched right on the corner with river views from most of the rooms, and a great panoramic dining terrace where you can have dinner. The bedrooms are spacious with river views and balconies, so on arrival you can take a dip in the indoor pool and then relax with a view of the river.
Hotel Wolfinger
In the centre of Linz’s spectacular town square the Wolfinger Hotel blends in perfectly. From the outside it looks like a townhouse with its grand facade and historical charm. Inside the design is very curious. The building used to be a convent in the old days, and it has now been tastefully converted into a cosy and quirky city centre hotel. The public rooms include a lounge and reception area where you can access the internet, and a lovely breakfast room overlooking the Hauptplatz outside. There decor is equally as grand, with antique furniture, carved chairs and cabinets overhung by chandeliers. The bedrooms are decorated in the same style, although some rooms have been given a more modern feel with smart new wooden flooring and Persian style rugs. All have phones, satellite TV and hairdryers.
Landhaus Stift
Located opposite the Stift Ardagger monastery, the 4-star Landhaus Stift dates back from the 13th century. This traditional country house was restored with the utmost respect for its history. Enjoy Austrian hospitality in the hotel restaurant as you sample the traditional Austrian cuisine.
Hotel Zur Post
The Ebner’s Hotel in Melk is located just off a tiny cobbled square below the giant and world famous monastery that towers above the town. The hotel is built on a steep hill, though you don’t notice this from the street, so it is taller inside than it appears outside. The public rooms nearest the street are given over to a stube style lounge and bar area, and there is an attractive terrace out the front with views of the monastery at dinner. At the back of the building there is an even larger terraced area for breakfast and dinner, and several dining rooms inside to cater for guests. Upstairs the bedrooms are smart but simply furnished, with many rooms overlooking the dining terrace at the back of the hotel. Rooms all have hairdryers, satellite TV and direct dial phones. The hotel is as central as it is possible to be in Melk, so it is ideal for exploring the town.
The Steigenberger Hotel and Spa
The Steigenberger in Krems is a real treat. Once you have negotiated the short, steep hill up to the front door you really can relax. Apart from the many bedrooms, the hotel has one of the most luxurious spa facilities we have ever seen, with both an outdoor and an indoor pool. The dining room is gorgeous, spilling out onto a panoramic terrace with views of the surrounding vineyards and over the spires of the old city of Krems. Bedrooms are modern and beautifully presented with lots of wood and high quality fabrics so everything feels very luxurious. Please note that twin rooms are not available at this hotel.
Hotel Nibelungenhof
The pretty riverfront town of Tulln is your last stop before you reach Vienna. Originally a Roman settlement, the waterfront has been preserved as a series of attractive parks and gardens; the two storey hotel is slightly set back from the riverside. Inside it is attractively decorated in a homely style, with the reception and lounge area decorated with a full wall of books either side of a central fireplace, with comfortable sofas to relax on. The bedrooms are all individually decorated; most have wooden floors, repro antiques, satellite TV and hairdryers. The hotel is just a short walk from the centre of Tulln, where there are several grand churches, museums and restaurants to explore.
Hotel Austria
The location of the Hotel Austria could not be more central in Vienna. The Fleischmarkt is within walking distance of all the city centre attractions, and the opportunities for dining out are plentiful in the evenings. The hotel is squirreled away up a small alleyway so looks quite unassuming. It is an enormous traditional building with a grand spiral central staircase. The public rooms on the ground floor are all very high with an atmosphere of faded and comfortable rather than modern grandeur. Ancient maps of the city hang behind reception and reds and crimsons form much of the decor, with antique furnishings dotting the lounge from where you can access the internet. Bedrooms upstairs are off long corridors, and have high windows and dark wooden furnishings and velvet chairs. All come with satellite TV, minibars and tea and coffee making facilities.
Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts included.  Dinners can pre-booked at a supplement (inquire for prices at time of booking).

Classification: Self-Guided
Activity Level: 1 (Leisurely)

Much of the cycling is on the old river towpath which is now lovely, flat and surfaced; previously up to 60 horses strained to drag heavy cargo boats upstream against the powerful current! Today, dozens of farms and cafes offer waterfront lunch stops as you cycle between sun-baked villages and wayside stalls piled high with apples, peaches and plums. Most cycling days are completely flexible, as local boat and train services are excellent, cheap and cater brilliantly to cyclists.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 15/10/2019
5/5

Mrs Clark

Easy cycling, wonderful sightseeing and a great way to explore the Danube and Austria. We love cycling holidays and this was was very enjoyable. Headwater holidays aren't cheap, but they are very well organised, totally reliable and always great fun.

Reviewed On 30/09/2019
5/5

Mr Stephens

Very enjoyable holiday, leisurely cycling, good time of year to go (September), good accommodation. Route notes generally good but need review in a couple of locations (subject of separate email), much to see on the non-cycling days (Linz, Melk, Krems).

Reviewed On 10/09/2019
5/5

Mr Harrison

Overall a very enjoyable holiday with excellent accommodation and bicycles (ebikes). The cycle paths are easy to follow and well maintained. A lovely cycling trail which can be done by any age group. Many young families were following the route. Perfect also for those of a more advancing age! (We are both in our mid seventies.). Cannot but recommend this holiday very highly to all. Cycling into the centre of Vienna was so easy. The Austrian’s do look after their cyclists. Only criticism would be the lack of a designated contact person for the holiday but the cycling back up service was good and luggage transfer excellent.

Reviewed On 05/08/2019
5/5

Ms Campbell

An excellent holiday, well organised with fantastic food (and range of options). The sights are beautiful and varied. This holiday has something to offer everyone and I would recommend it as a way to explore the towns and villages along this part of the Danube. The cycling is easy and relaxed; there is flexibility and so this holiday will suit the majority of people, including families.

Reviewed On 25/07/2019
5/5

Mrs Marlow

From our initial arrival in Passau to the spectacular cycling of the Danube Island into Vienna, this was an adventure not to be missed. From concert halls, wall graffiti and art museums to medieval towns, meandering rivers, mountain trams and jaw-dropping monasteries, Austria never ceased to amaze. We do recommend taking the short journey into Linz on the train and definitely recommend cycling into Vienna on the traffic-free Danube Island.

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